CHARLESTON, S.C. - One week after opening the season in Fort Myers, Fla., the Ole Miss softball team will head east once again for a five-game tournament in Charleston, S.C., at the College of Charleston Classic.
In addition to facing tournament-host College of Charleston (Sunday at 12:30 p.m. CT), the Rebels (2-3) will also compete against DePaul (Saturday at 10:00 a.m. CT), Fordham (Friday at 8:00 a.m. CT), Kansas (Friday at 12:30 p.m. CT), and Western Carolina (Saturday at 5:00 p.m. CT).
"We didn't come away with the amount of wins we wanted last week and we left a lot of runners on base, but across the board we did play well," Ole Miss head coach Windy Thees said. "As a staff, we had probably the best pitching weekend we've had since I've been here. The errors were more of an anomaly than anything. We're focusing this week on not rushing, and letting things happen. I like what I saw on offense, I like what I saw on defense for the most part, and on the mound. The only thing I didn't like was that we didn't come away 5-0. We have learned from last weekend, and hopefully what we've applied and worked on in our practices this week will lead to a successful weekend in Charleston."
Ole Miss was led last week by senior outfielder RT Cantillo, who hit .563 (9-16), with three runs, two RBI and four walks. Cantillo, who hails from Santa Ana, Calif., has recorded multiple hits in each of the past four games. As a team, Ole Miss is hitting .309, and has six players hitting over .300, including sophomore shortstop Haley Culley, who is in the midst of a six-game hitting streak dating back to last season.
In the circle, senior Shelby Jo Fenter (1-0) posted a 0.84 ERA in 8.1 innings of work, and struck out a team-high 11 batters. Freshman pitcher Emily Gaitan threw 7.2 innings in Fort Myers, striking out eight and posting a 0.91 ERA.
College of Charleston (0-2) enters the weekend coming off a pair of losses on the road at Coastal Carolina.
DePaul (3-2) opened the year with a win over Maryland before splitting with both Jacksonville and Florida International.
Fordham (2-1), the Rebels' first opponent of the tournament, started 2-0 with wins over LIU Brooklyn and Chattanooga, but lost to UCF on Sunday.
Kansas (1-2), which posted the top batting average (.345) in the country last season, is 1-2 on the year. Kansas sophomore pitcher Kelsey Kessler (1-1) is off to a great start for the Jayhawks, striking out 22 batters in 13 innings of work with an unblemished 0.00 ERA.
Western Carolina (0-0) will be opening its season this weekend.
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